Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pastor Browning from NY Arrives!

Hi everyone,


***There is going to be a special fundraising item that is going to be announced very soon. It involves a special necklace that was designed especially for Jessica and all the proceeds from the sales of this item will be donated to Jessica's Journey Savings Club! I have seen it and it is beautiful! It was made in honor of Jessica and her efforts to increase lyme disease awareness, something that Jessica has been very passionate about since she has been battling that disease for the past four years as well! As soon as I have all the info and links, I will blog this SPECIAL NEWS and how it all came about and how and when it will become available!!!

Update on Jessica:
Jessica received a different dosing of her booster with the hopes that it may do something to "reset" her vision problems that have been plaguing her since @ mid-September. We did see improvement in the moving of her right leg, in that the toes move more freely and also, greater movement in the upper right thigh and slight movement in the right knee as well!! For this, we are so hopeful, as this was the sight of the initial infection (Lyme disease) and subsequent re-triggering of RSD in that leg and then full body. There wasn't any improvement in the vision but we still remain hopeful that, in time, this will be restored, as we know God intends it to be! Please pray for Jessica and continued healing of all of her body!

Today our Pastor from The Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Garden City, N.Y., Pastor Jeff Browning is traveling to Monterrey, Mexico to come to see Jessica and I!!! We are really looking forward to seeing him again. We last saw him back in July before leaving from N.Y. to go to see Dr. Kirkpatrick in Florida and then ultimately here to see Dr. Cantu in Mexico. It has certainly been a long journey!

Pastor Browning has been the Pastor of our church for the past two years. Before that he served as the
Associate Pastor while Pastor Bill Harmon was the Pastor. You see the church has always played an integral part in our lives and has always been there for us in the past. I had been very close with Pastor Harmon before he left, as he had gotten me through the passing of my brother Charlie and then the many years of sickness and operations involving my husband David and Crohn's disease and then Jessica with Lyme disease and all of its complications! When Pastor Harmon was called to serve at another church in Williamsburg, Va. I was so upset as I didn't know how or if anyone else could fill his shoes; he was that special to me! Then, somehow, as the good Lord always does, Pastor Browning became the one that I leaned on and
ultimately it has been him and his congregation that has gotten us thru this battle with Jessica. Through it all, if you didn't realize it before, God does provide for all of your needs and in his perfect timing. So we welcome Pastor Browning with open arms to Mexico today!

I also look forward to introducing him to Pastor Long, the Pastor of Union Church, here in Monterrey. I was introduced to him through our special angel - Dr. Rainbow! He, along with his congregation, have been so helpful and supportive to me since I have been here, more than words can say - and, as I said before - God has fulfilled and met our needs even here at the Hospital San Jose Tec! (For example, just yesterday, Pastor Long stopped by with homemade lasagna for me - enough to be shared with the other two families from the USA as well - amazing how the good Lord works!)

So today - Sunday - "Church day" --- give thanks to all the wonderful Pastors, Priests, Brothers, Sisters, Nuns, Clergy, etc. that have been there for you as well!

In God's love, always,
Sarah Gina
(Jessica's Mom)

***To post a comment, CLICK on comments below***


Silicon Valley Real Estate said...

Jessica and Sarah Gina,
I am not a doctor, just a mother of a 24 yr son who has had Lyme and RSD and is now functioning again after 19 years of illness. You will get there also. My son had increased intracranial pressure (pseudo tumor cerebreii) from Lyme that causes headaches and funny vision. Apparantly ketemine can also increase the pressure and we had to go through a lot to get him ketamine because of the past history of pseudo tumor. Has Jessica's cerebral spinal fluid pressure been checked? If not, maybe you could ask them to do a lumbar puncture and check it. Just having the puncture always made my son's headaches go away, at least temporarily. If you have any questions about this please fell free to e-mail.
I think about you everyday and believe you will get better.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful to hear there are yet more improvements! Praise God!

We will continue to pray for complete healing for sweet Jessica.

With love & prayers,
The Turners

Anonymous said...

Yesterday the Catholic Daughters of America organization I belong to had their ninetieth anniversary Mass and dinner. We are a great group so let me know what the necklaces and fundraising is all about and I can share it with them.
But at the Mass I said extra prayers for you.

Regina said...

Jessica and Gina...I am so touched to see that through your spiritual journey you have the ability to recognize and mentioned all the differing religious representatives each with it's own uniqueness in worship to the Creator. That meant a lot to me. I am looking forward to hearing about the necklace...a very special way to feel close to Jessica. It also allows for a tangible way to keep her close in our prayers.

Saying my thank you prayers to Father who knows.....

Angel said...

Dearest Jessica and Gina, I am so glad that Pastor Browning is there! It is wonderful news that Jessica is moving her legs more. Thank God!!! Jessica and Gina, you have shown us all how to focus on the big and little blessings of every day (sometimes really little) as true gifts from God, a God who loves us so very much. That is what we are all called to do, but sometimes fall short. Your faith has shown us how to believe and to never give up, no matter what the challenge. Yours is a true living faith, the kind that brings results!! Hang in there- miracles are happening!!!!! Love always, Angel

Jessica's Journey to Getting Her Life Back

By Sarah Gina (Jessica's Mom)

As we begin this journey toward renewed health we would like to express our sincere heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Dr. Anthony Kirkpatrick and all the work he has done and continues to do in order to bring patients like my daughter Jessica back to a more meaningful life and restored from this devastating illness. Also, special thanks to Dr. Fernando Cantu and his team of doctors in Mexico for taking on a difficult case like my daughters, Words cannot express the renewed sense of hope that we have that one day, our Jessica, can regain her life that has been taken away from her – God Bless you all!

Jessica’s Story

Once an A+ student who loved school, was involved in many extracurricular activities, played varsity tennis, lacrosse and gymnastics and enjoyed spending time with her family and friends, our daughter Jessica has spent the last 3 years incapacitated, paralyzed, unable to sit or walk and eat. She spends her days confined to a hospital bed, wearing sunglasses and noise-canceling headphones, due to severe light and sound sensitivity.

Jessica and her sisters, 2 mos. before becoming ill

The pain she feels is indescribable and all attempted treatments have not even come close to relieving her suffering.

She has seen many doctors, undergone numerous painful tests and procedures, has been prescribed various medications, and has been hospitalized frequently including being intubated and on a ventilator. She is severely debilitated and currently is only 92 pounds. This is certainly no life for a 21 year old young woman!

Jessica is suffering from neurologic Lyme disease and Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), a severely debilitating and painful neuromuscular disorder. She suffers daily with constant sharp, stabbing, tingling and burning pain; throughout her body; severe headaches; paralysis; intense muscle spasms; gastroparesis; seizures; twisting of her limbs (dystonia); sensitivity to any touch (allodynia); extreme sensitivity to lights and sounds; excessive sweating; swelling; fevers; softening of bones; decreased hair growth; redness and discoloration of the limbs; and painful skin ulcers. The pain is constant and unrelenting, but despite her suffering, her faith in God remains and she still has hope for her future.

Jessica's painful skin lesions

Jessica's journey began in 1999, when she was only 11 years old. She became very ill with Mono and was bed bound for 3 months. She subsequently developed RSD (stage 1) of the lower right leg. She received early intervention and returned to playing sports and enjoying her life.

Jessica, age 15, at summer camp

Four years later, in 2003, while away at a sleep-away camp, she developed a rash behind her right knee, coincidentally in the same leg that previously had RSD!

At the time, the camps nurse & doctor told her that it was “duck rash” – a rash from swimming in the lake with duck feces. However, Jessica was able to obtain photos from camp from another camper which shows the classic “bulls-eye” rash from Lyme disease! It wasn’t until much later and only after developing symptoms and becoming very ill, was the diagnosis of Lyme disease and Babesiosis (another tick-borne infection) made.

Most people (and doctors!) have no idea how serious Lyme disease can become and no clue how to properly diagnose it. Unfortunately, if she would have been promptly diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease, the RSD would not have been triggered and she would not be suffering.

July 2003, Jessica's Lyme disease rash

If it wasn’t for her doctor, Dr. Liegner, and his expertise with complex cases of Lyme, and his determination to try any means in getting her well, by getting a “team” of doctors on her case, we wouldn’t be here today, still fighting. We owe him a deep sense of gratitude for all he does for Jessica!

During these past three years and with the pain becoming more intense and unbearable she has been seeing Dr. Finkelstein for pain management. He has even made house calls to spare her the pain of coming by ambulance to his office. Jessica has been treated with multiple pain medications, at the highest possible doses, as well as an implanted dilaudid pain pump, which delivers potent medication straight into her spine. Many doctors have told us that with the amount of medications Jessica was taking would be enough to “kill a horse”—yet they had little to no effect on her. If it wasn’t for Dr. Finkelstein trying to alleviate her constant, severe, unrelenting pain, I don’t know how she would have managed. He is very special to us as well.

Recently Jessica was transported by air ambulance to Tampa, Florida to see Dr. Anthony Kirkpatrick, a world renowned RSD expert. Dr. Kirkpatrick told us that Jessica is one of the most debilitated patients he has ever seen.

Jessica getting into the air-ambulance to go see Dr. Kirkpatrick

Upon his testing and because Jessica's condition is so severe, Dr. Kirkpatrick is recommending the only treatment available that can possibly help relieve her suffering, and afford her some semblance of a “normal” life - the Ketamine Coma Procedure - a clinical trial that is being conducted in Monterrey, Mexico.

During this procedure Jessica will be put into a coma , with the hope that her nerves, brain and spinal cord will “reset” -so that her nervous system sends the correct signals to her brain.

Yes, this is a radical, scary treatment, however, for Jessica, "scary" is thinking that she could spend the rest of her life in this condition, unable to walk, eat, or take care of herself. Since all reasonable treatments have failed to help her, we feel we must try everything possible to help Jessica regain her life.

We understand that due to Jessica’s fragile condition, there is a high risk associated with this procedure. We are also aware that other patients with severe RSD like Jessica's have had success.

Jessica’s goal is to one day become a doctor. Our hope is that with this study she can have that chance. As her Mom, I know that she will be a great doctor because when a patient presents in her office and says “Doctor, I am in pain and words cannot express how bad it is” – my daughter –Dr. Jessica– will be able to say - :I know how you feel, I’ve been there too. So, take a seat and let me tell you a story”….

We are so thankful and feel so blessed to have been led to Dr. Kirkpatrick.

God is good and with his help guiding Dr. Cantu and Dr. Kirkpatrick, our hope is for Jessica to be able to return to us whole again and pain-free!